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1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster

Is this the ultimate 356 "survivor" ?

Speedster, the one and only

Introduced in late 1954, the Porsche 356 Speedster was a true dual-purpose sports car – one that could serve as both daily transportation and, with minor modifications, a successful weekend race car. Originally priced at $2,995 – well below Porsche’s Coupe and Cabriolet models – the Speedster was equipped with a stylish, cut-down windscreen, racy bucket seats, minimal folding soft top, and side curtains instead of standard roll-up windows. These features reduced the car’s weight and suited it to competition use. It was not long before the 356 Speedster established itself as a dominant force in sports car racing.

Nimble and fit for the King of Cool

With its competition record, brilliant driving dynamics, and quality build, the Speedster was a favorite among sports car enthusiasts – particularly in California, where top-down motoring was possible almost every day of the year. The fact that celebrities such as James Dean and Steve McQueen owned Speedsters contributed greatly to the model’s iconoclastic image.

Original delivery

According to the accompanying copy of its Porsche Kardex, this 356 A Speedster, chassis 83955, was completed on October 18, 1957. Originally finished in Elfenbein (Ivory, Code 704) and equipped with US-specification equipment, this Porsche was delivered new to official North American distributor Hoffman Motors of New York.

West Coast life

Little is known of the Speedster’s early history, but by the mid-1970s it had apparently made its way to California, where it was repainted silver and sold to Frederick Myeron of Orangevale. He registered the car on vanity plates reading “FM356A.” The car remained in his ownership for at least 25 years before its recent sale to the consignor. Parked in static storage for decades and presented today in as-found, unrestored condition, this highly sought-after 1957 356 A Speedster is a prime candidate for a complete concours-quality restoration.

Matching numbers

An accompanying copy of the Porsche Kardex confirms that the Speedster’s engine is the original matching-number unit (no. 67384) and notes a replacement transaxle fitted in 1963. Additionally, the hood and deck lid are stamped with the last digit or digits of the chassis number and the car’s factory data tags are visible in the driver’s door jamb and front compartment. There is corrosion apparent in the battery box, floor pan, and lower sections of the body. It is accompanied by a selection of additional wheels and the soft top frame.

Chassis Highlights

  • 1,582 CC Type 616/1 Air-Cooled Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
  • Twin Zenith 32 NDIX Carburetors
  • 60 BHP at 4,500 RPM
  • 4-Speed Manual Transaxle
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
  • 4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Torsion Bars and Shock Absorbers
  • An Ideal Restoration Candidate – A California “Blue Plate” Speedster
  • Delivered New to Hoffman Motors of New York Finished in Elfenbein (Ivory)
  • Retains Matching-Numbers Engine per Copy of Porsche Kardex
  • Recently Discovered in Long-Term, Single Family Ownership
  • Eligible for Numerous Rallies, Concours, and Porsche Club Events

Classic status

Today, the Porsche possesses the charm of a bygone era thanks to its period, fiberglass hardtop, club badges, coupe seats, headlight stone guards, and 1970s-era California blue-and-yellow license plates. An exciting, fresh-to-market restoration project, this 356 A Speedster has a bright future ahead.

Now available

Go HERE for information.

Photos © 2023 Brian Henniker courtesy Gooding & Co.